One of the questions we get asked a lot is why are UK products more expensive ? They look the same - yes , they feel the same - probably not , they smell the same - rarely and they have the same ingredients - this is where it gets complicated .
Manufacturers of skincare products have factories all over the world that comply with different local regulations regarding working conditions, wages, safety and, of course ingredients .
So recently on Reddit someone asked a very good question ' why are the ingredients in Dove moisturisers different depending on what country it was made in ' , here I will attempt to answer that question, however the answer goes way beyond just Dove and applies to virtually every major skincare manufacturer .
Regulatory standards are at their highest in the EU and UK , with an extensive list of banned ingredients versus the USA, then behind the USA we have Africa and Asia where regulation is at its lowest and lots more ingredients can find their way into skin care products . There is generally a lack of information regarding what ingredients find their way into skincare products in Africa and Asia so lets look at the list of ingredients allowed in the USA but NOT allowed in products in the EU and UK ( I warn you , it's long )
Formaldehyde - used to preserve dead bodies and known to cause cancer .
Petroleum - yes, that stuff that people put in their car can also be found in skincare products ( it's not identical but similar ) . No one really knows how the body deals with petroleum but it probably isn't good.
Parabens - well these mess with your hormones and by mimicking estrogen can cause fertility issues in men.
Triclosan - an antibiotic also found in medicined , you've heard about antibiotic resistant bacteria right ?
Hydroquinone - commonly used in skin whitening products . Banned in Europe, Japan and Uganda ,
because it kills cells and chromosomes which can lead to cancer .
For fear of boring you I will leave it there, in total the EU/UK have 1300 banned ingredients for skincare products - the USA has just 11, Uganda has 2 Hydroquinone and Mercury ( mainly used in skin whitening products ).
You may ask yourself why manufacturers would use these products where they legally can and there is no single answer . One of them would be they are cheaper, secondly many people will not know these products even exist so they don't know what to avoid buying. In many cases the banned ingredients will not give a better outcome , the more expensive are more expensive for a reason - they are better.
Hydroquinone - commonly used in skin whitening products . Banned in Europe and Japan because it kills cells and chromosomes which can lead to cancer .oooooo There is no outright ban on skin whitening , there is however a ban on two of the most dangerous ingredients you could imagine. If you fancy getting lighter whilst rotting your skin, eyes and intestines go for a bit of mercury . To be 100% sure whitening products do not contain these ingredients then make sure you get an EU/UK product as manufacturers there are not even permitted to have the slightest trace in the ingredients. We will talk more about this in a blog on skin whitening, lightening and bleaching .
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